by Sarah Davis
"A Streetcar Named Desire", presented by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater, is running this weekend at the Benedum Center (March 9-11). I had the opportunity to see the performance on it's opening night and I loved it. While it is a bit dark and explores some topics not typically seen in ballet, it is done really well. I'm obsessed with Eva Trapp, who flawlessly plays Blanche DuBois, an emotionally troubled girl currently living in an asylum in New Orleans with a very tormented past. You follow her memories of different people, like her sister, Stella, throughout the ballet. Blanche's painful memories are not delicate, to say in the least, but Pittsburgh Ballet Theater confidently tackles these scenes like it's a scene from "The Nutcracker" (brought to life only by ballet, music, and lighting, all from John Neumeier, Serge Prokofiev, and Alfred Schnittke).
New Orleans is one of my favorite cities because it holds so many gloomy, mysterious stories. I have never seen the movie, so I had no idea what to expect from this ballet. It was my first taste of this story line. I love that this ballet does not have the typical overly peachy story and that there are people cloaked in black (representing death, I'm assuming) floating across the stage when Blanche begins to remember deaths in her family. The dark & gloomy undertone gave the story a lot of depth. "A Streetcar Named Desire" was fantastic and since it's only playing for two more nights, I would hurry over and get tickets for tonight or tomorrow.
For tickets, please visit the Pittsburgh Ballet Theater's website.